|Course||Dinner, snack, dessert|
|Place of origin||Netherlands|
|Region or state||Northwestern Europe|
|Serving temperature||Warm or hot|
|Main ingredients||Batter (yeast, flour)|
Poffertjes (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈpɔfərcəs] (listen)) are a traditional Dutch batter treat. Resembling small, fluffy pancakes, they are made with yeast and buckwheat flour.
Typically, poffertjes are a sweet treat, served with powdered sugar and butter, and sometimes syrup or advocaat. However, there is also a savoury variant with gouda cheese.
Poffertjes, also known as 'brothers', originated from a Catholic tradition. In the churches in the south of the Netherlands, sacremental hosts were used during the communion ceremony. Because the host was very dry, the brothers started experimenting with different recipes. From these culinary experiments the poffertjes that we know today have emerged. The south of the present-day Netherlands was traditionally Catholic, so the traditions deviated from the Protestant north. Because the hosts are part of a Catholic tradition, it is suspected that the poffertjes were created in the provinces of Limburg or North Brabant.
Poffertjes are a festive holiday treat in the Netherlands, popular at both summer festivals and Christmas markets. Mainly in the winter season temporary stands selling poffertjes are quite popular and sell portions containing one or two dozen. Usually the cook prepares them fresh for the customer. They are sold on a small cardboard (sometimes plastic) plate and come with a small disposable fork the size of a pastry fork. Poffertjes are not difficult to prepare, but a special cast iron pan or copper pan (also available in aluminium with Teflon coating) with several shallow indentations in the bottom is required.
Almost all Dutch supermarkets (like Albert Heijn, Lidl & Jumbo) sell ready-made poffertjes that only need to be microwaved, and are sold complete with a sachet of powdered sugar and a small serving of butter. Supermarkets also stock mixes for poffertjes, to which only eggs and milk need to be added. Usually they contain some kind of leavening agent like baking powder.
Poffertjes can also be served with other sweet garnishes, such as syrup, whipped cream or strawberries, for added flavour.
Poffertjes are also known in Indonesian cuisine through its historical ties as the former Dutch colony. Poffertjes are also regularly found on German Christmas markets.
Poffertjes are thought to be related to and to have influenced the Indonesian kue cubit. Poffertjes have some similarities with Indian paniyaram and Chinese egg waffles, but differ in many aspects. The Danish Æbleskiver pancakes are quite similar.